The last day of a nuclear-powered icebreaker

Icebreaker Arktika (

One of Russia’s most powerful icebreakers, the “Arktika”, is this week officially taken out of service. Tomorrow, the reactor of the 33 year old vessel will be turned off.


The “Arktika” belongs to the most powerful of Russia’s icebreakers. The 148 meter long and 23,000 ton big vessel has since 1975 faithfully served in the Russian Arctic. Built at the Baltic Yard in Sankt Petersburg, the “Arktika” belongs to the most powerful class of icebreaker, along with the “Sibir”, “Rossiya”, “Sovetskii Soyuz” and “Yamal”. Today only the latter four vessels remain in duty. From 1959 to 1992, a total of nine civilian nuclear-powered vessels were built in the Soviet Union. Of these, eight were icebreakers and one a container ship (the “Sevmorput”). In the period 1994-2007, the last of the country’s nuclear-powered icebreakers was built, the most powerful of them all – the “50 Years Victory”. The Russian fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers has for many years been administrated by the Murmansk Shipping Company. This fall however, the state nuclear power company Rosatom took over the management of the vessels.